Unlike my native California, my adopted state of Wisconsin has four distinct seasons. Each is beautiful in its own way. The icy, bare-branched starkness of winter; the green promise of renewed life of spring; the sunny heat (and humidity) and long evenings of summer. However, I think for sheer, almost breathtaking beauty, nature puts on its grandest display in autumn. But here in southern Wisconsin, fall colors take their time arriving.
In early October, Susan and I drove with friends to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, some 60 miles northeast of Madison. A popular stopping-off place for migrating birds, the first few hints of autumn were visible on the marsh.
A couple of weeks later, a friend and I headed to the Baraboo Hills, and hiked the trail in Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, where the mostly yellow colors were dramatically backlit by the sun. The remaining images are from the local Madison area, including “Holy Hill,” which is directly behind our house.
The University of Wisconsin Arboretum is Madison is not to be missed. 52 acres of the arboretum have been planted as a hardwood forest that used to cover the state (and is still prevalent several hours to the north). Still lots of yellow but some other colors as well.